(Image from Kröller-Müller Museum Online)
Path in the park (September, 1888)
Vincent was 35 years old
Oil on Canvas
73cm x 92cm (28.7in x 36.2in)
Currently at Kröller-Müller Museum, Netherlands
Have you ever wondered what those famous quotes said/written by Vincent meant in full context?.
This one is my previous post: “I feel that there’s nothing more truly artistic than to love people,” which if you have read it, should be somewhat familiar.
It’s from a letter written in September 1888 when Vincent was in Arles; roughly a month from Gauguin’s arrival on the 23rd of October. He was 35 years old, passionate, hunger-for-life mode to expand his scope in painting techniques and, Gauguin was 40 years young with iron discipline in his art and personal conduct with people. Gauguin was known for his stubbornness throughout his life.
Think like Tom and Jerry in the Yellow House.. with a twist(?) I’ll let you decide which one was which.
The quote in full context is as followed: “You are kind to painters (Theo), and I tell you, the more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people. You will say that then it would be a good thing to do without art and artists. That is true in the first instance, but then the Greeks and the French and the old Dutchmen accepted art, and we see how art always comes to life again after inevitable periods of decadence, and I do not think that anyone is the better for abhorring artists and their art. At present I do not think my pictures worthy of the advantages I have received from you. But once they are worthy, I swear that you will have created them as much as I, and that we are making them together.”
“Whether Gauguin comes or not, he will remain friends with us, and if he does not come now, he will come another time. I feel instinctively that Gauguin is a schemer who, seeing himself at the bottom of the social ladder, wants to regain a position by means which will certainly be honest, but at the same time, very politic.”
If have more time: “If someday he decamps from Pont-Aven with Laval or Maurin without paying his debts, I think in his case he would still be justified, exactly like any other creature at bay. I do not think it would be wise to offer Bernard straight off 150 francs for a picture every month, as you did Gauguin. And Bernard, who has evidently been over and over the whole business with Gauguin – isn’t he rather counting on taking Gauguin’s place?
I think it will be necessary to be very firm and very explicit about the whole thing.
And without giving any reasons, to speak very plainly.
I cannot blame Gauguin – speculator though he may be as soon as he wants to risk something in business, only I will have nothing to do with it. I would a thousand times rather go on with you, whether you are with the Goupils or not.
And in my opinion, you know, the new dealers are exactly and in every way the same as the old.
In principle, and in theory, I am for an association of artists who guarantee each other’s work and living, but in principle and in theory I am equally against attempts to destroy old, established businesses. Let them rot in peace, and die a natural death. It is pure presumption to hope to regenerate trade. Have nothing to do with it; let’s guarantee a living among ourselves, live like a family, like brothers and friends, and this even if it should not succeed – I would like to be in this, but I will never have anything to do with an attack on other dealers.
With a handshake, and I hope that what I have been obliged to ask you will not be too terribly inconvenient. But I did not want to postpone sleeping at home. And in case you are short yourself, 20 francs more will get me through the week, but it is urgent.
Ever yours, Vincent”